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UN launches program to protect sports and prevent terrorism

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations counter-terrorism office launched a global program Monday to stop attacks at major sporting events and promote sports as a way to prevent extremism.

U.N. counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov told the first meeting of international experts on sports and security that sports events, especially those where famous international athletes participate, have long been “a preferred terrorist target.”

He cited attacks against the Olympic games in 1972 and 1996, and bombings during the marathons in Sri Lanka in 2008 and Boston in 2013.

Voronkov said “terrorists aim to destroy what sport represents” — positive values across civilizations and cultures, striving to aim higher, and promoting tolerance and gender equality.

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